Georgia Republican Rep. Paul Broun filed a federal statement of candidacy Wednesday to run for Senate.
The paperwork comes ahead of Broun’s expected 4 p.m. announcement in Atlanta that he will seek retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ seat.
The Republican senator announced last month he would not run for another term in 2014, kicking off a scramble among ambitious members of the Peach State delegation. Republican Reps. Jack Kingston, Tom Price and Phil Gingrey are all seen as likely to get into the race to succeed Chambliss. But Broun got the jump on his colleagues.
Broun is one of the chamber’s most socially and fiscally conservative members. He had a lifetime score of 99 percent from both the American Conservative Union and the anti-tax Club for Growth at the end of 2011, the most recent year for which data is available.
In an interview last month, Broun derided what he called Democratic efforts to expand the power of the federal government. “It’s irresponsible, it’s untenable, it’s unsustainable and it has to stop,” he said.
A medical doctor first elected to the House in July 2007, Broun is probably best known on the national stage for his comments about science last year.
“All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and Big Bang theory: all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell,” he said.
At the end of last year, the Broun had $156,000 in cash on hand, a small amount to begin a Senate run in Georgia. His campaign’s first major test will be how much money he can raise in the next few months.
Broun currently represents the sprawling and safely Republican 10th District, which stretches from the western exurbs of Atlanta to the South Carolina border. Two possible GOP contenders for his seat are state Sen. Bill Cowsert and former Rep. Mac Collins, insiders said.